Mpumalanga father due in court for raping his 13-year-old daughter
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WHITE RIVER - A 37-year-old man is due to appear in the Kabokweni Magistrates' Court near White River on Monday on charges of raping his 13-year-old daughter, Mpumalanga police said.
On Friday, May 29, a 13-year-old girl visited her father at his home in Masoyi, north of White River, Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said in a statement.
Later that evening, her father called her to his bedroom while she was busy preparing food for him and her siblings. When she entered the bedroom, she found her father and stepmother inside. She was instructed to take off her clothes, but she refused and instead went back to the kitchen to continue preparing dinner, he said.
"The man went outside and called her again; when she stepped outside, he forcefully grabbed her, tore off her clothes, and forcefully raped her. She relayed the story to her aunt later on Monday, 1 June 2020, and further mentioned to her aunt that her father had raped her before.
"She further indicated that during December 2019, her father forcefully raped her, begged her not to tell anyone, and promised to buy her a cellphone as well as a pair of shoes. The matter was reported to police and a case of rape was opened and is being investigated." The 37-year-old father was subsequently arrested, Hlathi said.
In an unrelated incident in White River on Tuesday, June 2, a teenage girl walking home from a fuel station was approached by two men who allegedly forcefully dragged her into a nearby bush. They then threatened to harm her, ordered her to undress herself, gang raped her, and fled from the scene.
The matter was immediately reported to police and a case of rape was opened. The girl was taken to a healthcare facility for a medical examination, and the perpetrators were being sought, Hlathi said.
"Another sad incident involving a child was reported in Vosman area near Witbank. According to the report, on the evening of Monday, 1 June 2020, a 47-year-old woman was woken up by noise of an infant who was crying bitterly," he said.
"This crying sound continued for a while, prompting her to wake her husband, and both went to investigate where they discovered an infant wrapped in a towel outside the door. They tried to look around to see if possibly they can spot the person who left the baby, but with no success, and further enquired from the neighbours as well, but no positive feedback."
The matter was reported to police on Tuesday, June 2, and a case of child neglect was opened. Police had since launched a search for the suspect who abandoned the child, Hlathi said.
Mpumalanga police commissioner Lt-Gen Mondli Zuma expressed dismay at these disheartening and callous acts. "These heartless suspects continue to prey on vulnerable women and children, regardless of hefty sentences that are being handed down to them by our courts.
"This situation reflects a deep underlying problem of a lack of morals in our society. We really plead [with] the public, especially the religious fraternity, traditional leadership, and opinion leaders, to join hands with us in addressing this challenge, especially now that [Covid-19 lockdown] restrictions have been relaxed for faith-based organisations to continue to revive the moral fibre of our society which appears to have degenerated,“ he said.
SAPS appealled to anyone who may have information regarding the suspects who raped the young girl in White River to please contact Detective Constable Sifiso Maseko on 076-412-3601 or White River SAPS on 013-750-0888. Anyone who may have information regarding the Vosman case should please contact Detective Constable Londiwe Patricia Mathibela on 082-494-2174.
Alternatively, members of the public could call the Crime Stop number 086-00-10111. Information could also be communicated via the MySAPSApp. All information would be treated in strict confidence and callers may remain anonymous, Hlathi said.